Microsoft doubles down on hybrid cloud with Azure in a box offering

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Microsoft Monday doubled down on hybrid clouds by unveiling an on-premises system that syncs up with Azure public cloud services. With its new Cloud Platform System (CPS), Microsoft is attempting to differentiate itself vs. rivals Amazon Web Services and Google. This Azure cloud-in-a-box offering, available next month, uses the same software that powers Microsoft’s Azure public cloud – the HyperV hypervisor, Windows Systems Center and Azure Pack – and runs on hardware supplied by Dell. 

Microsoft is teaming with Dell to create an Azure cloud in a box offering for customers who want to run their own, on-premises datacenters. Microsoft executives took the wraps off the new offering, known officially as the “Microsoft Cloud Platform System,” during an October 20 event in San Francisco about Microsoft’s cloud futures. I had heard rumblings earlier this summer that Microsoft was going to make another attempt to deliver a “cloud in a box” offering with a product codenamed “San Diego.” With Dell as its hardware partner, Microsoft will offer customers pre-assembled racks of servers running Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. Azure Pack, originally known as “Windows Azure Services for Windows Server,” provides users with the on-premises equivalents of a number of Azure technologies, including a self-service portal for managing services like Web sites, virtual machines and Service Bus; a portal for administrators to manage “resource clouds”; scalable Web hosting and more.

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